Disclaimer: These photographs are uploaded to Flickr with ZERO editing in terms of lighting, cropping… the whole deal! The only time one is edited is for a cropping that I specifically draw attention to.
I played chicken with the train again. I was out and about and decided to stop a little bit earlier than sunset time, when the sun was still up. Dusk.
I try really hard to have a pattern in the photo that the viewer follows. If you look at this photo, I was too focused on rule of thirds (not having the silhouettes in the middle) that I forgot about leading lines. Look at the entire left side of the photo – there is nothing of interest for the eye to wander. It is dead space. There is no path leading fully across the photo. The railroad tracks would have been perfect to line up from one corner of the photo to the other.
Now, look at this photo. I switched perspective (crossed the tracks) and took another shot. This time I had the railroad giving wonderful leading lines. If we read left to right we see the tracks get smaller as you get farther away, and then you see a train as the main focal point, framed by the two crossing posts. The only thing I did not like is the top right corner, where there is another post in the way.
A simple crop… and here we are!
Of course it is always nice getting that shot that needs zero cropping. Look below. The leading line is the silhouette, a mix of trees, the grain elevator, and the train. There are some vertical lines that draw attention too, but everything is symmetrical and there is no real dead space (the sun flare reaches to the top of the photo – it is beautiful, I think!) I casually snapped it as I was walking across the tracks. The train was stopped, folks, don’t worry!
Check out all of the train photos here.